Monday, 21 November 2016

FROZEN MINDS by Cheryl Rees-Price

Hello Cheryl and welcome to the blog. The weather has been absolutely atrocious here in Lancashire these past few days. I hope it hasn't been quite as stormy where you are.

First of all, congratulations on the publication of FROZEN MINDS, the second novel in the DI Winter Meadows Mystery series. What an atmospheric cover!

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m Cheryl Rees-Price author of the Winter Meadows Mystery series. I trained as an accountant technician and now work as a finance director for a project management company. To combat the boredom of number crunching I spend my evening plotting the demise of deserving characters.

I must say that numbers have always been my phobia. I can't even help my daughter with her maths homework! At least I have the excuse that we do see differently in France - even divisions! Tell me, where do you get your ideas for your stories?

Ideas come from all sources. The idea for the first Winter Meadows came from walking the dog up a disused quarry. I started to think about what would happen if I didn’t make it home. The idea for the second book came from a conversation with a relative. She was having trouble with her boss. To cheer her up I turned her boss into a character in the book. He ended up being the murder victim.

And what is the one thing you absolutely need to write? (quiet, music, an empty house, coffee or chocolate?)

Lots of tea. I work in the kitchen so I am close to the kettle. Unfortunately I have a habit of munching chocolate and biscuits so I’m always a few pounds heavier when I finish a book.

I know exactly what you big problem is cake and cheese.
I find promotion very daunting. In fact, if I'm honest I don't really know what to do when it comes to promoting my work. How do you promote your work? What do you enjoy the most? What do you find the hardest?

My work is promoted on social media and I also give talks at local libraries. The first time I gave a talk I was terrified. My daughter said I looked green before I left the house. After the first minute I started to relax and by the time I got to the Q&A session my heart rate had returned to normal. I enjoy meeting and talking to people but don’t like to be the centre of attention. 

What's your top tip for promoting your work?

Make friends with other authors and join some groups. The ones I have got to know have been so helpful and are always happy to give advice.

Good advice. I have made good friends thanks to Facebook, but I really don't 'get'Twitter. How do you pick the location for a story?

The Winter Meadows series is set in a fictional valley which is based on my local area. I used a fictitious setting so I would have the scope to add buildings and streets. 

I love naming my characters and can spend quite some time finding the name that feels just right. What about you? How do you chose the name of your characters?

I often use baby naming books or take a walk around graveyards and look at names that are popular for certain time periods. If it is a minor character I use the first name that pops into my head. My daughters often accuse me of using names of their friends.

And why not? Some names these days are very original. What comes first when you are thinking of a new story - the plot or the characters?

The plot usually comes first. I have an idea for a story line and spend a fair amount of time working out the plot. I create the cast before I start on the first draft. Each character is given a profile with description and back story, it helps me keep track as I write

And now for the word association fun test! Look at the words below and choose the first 3 words that come to your mind...

Sun: warm, sea, happy

Winter: snow, Christmas, hats

Writing: letters, stories, pen

Chocolate: Orange, cake, biscuit

Love: Family, friends, hearts

What lovely words you chose, Cheryl! I thank you for being my guest today and wish you lots of success with FROZEN MINDS.

Blurb for Frozen Minds

When a man is found murdered at Bethesda House, a home for adults with learning difficulties, local people start to accuse the home's residents of being behind the killing. The victim was a manager at the home, and seemingly a respectable and well-liked family man. DI Winter Meadows knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. As he and his team investigate, Meadows discovers a culture of fear at the home - and some unscrupulous dealings going on between the staff. Does the answer to the case lie in the relationships between the staff and the residents - or is there something even more sinister afoot?

Author Bio

Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a Young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and two cats.  After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters.

 Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time book keeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services.

 In her spare time Cheryl indulges in her passion for writing, the success of writing plays for local performances gave her the confidence to write her first novel. Her other hobbies include walking, and gardening which free her mind to develop plots and create colourful characters.

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